After decades of waiting, the enforceable follow up to the Packers and Stockyards Act has been introduced by the USDA. This comes in the form of three rules (one interim final rule, and two proposed rules awaiting public comment) hoping to help level the playing field for contract farmers working in livestock, especially poultry. The interim final rule reinforces the original legislation’s aim by removing the need for demonstrating competitive injury, showing that the practice negatively impacts the industry as a whole, when seeking compensation for an anti-competitive practice. The two proposed rules would do away with the poultry industry tournament systems and undue preference for some producers over others. This is a win for equitable farming practices in the US and a new hope for many contract farmers struggling under the burden of the current system. For more information read NSAC’s full press release here or check out the FAQs put out by USDA about the rules.
USDA issues Farmer Fair Practices Rules